Friday 20 September 2013

A rhino sucked my toes

Yes, really. A cute little year-old white rhino baby, orphaned by poachers and being raised with two others in Umfolosi Reserve for eventual release into a game reserve - she sucked my toes after inhaling a trough of milk formula. Such a dear little thing, she made noises like a whale. Apparently her wailing when she was found was heartbreaking to hear.

And then we spent the night in fancy tents on a solid floor with a lovely bed and bathroom and all, but went to bed disappointed nonetheless because the promised hyenas didn't show up at our customary braai; though a bush pig did. There was cause for celebration because a lone elephant in a river completed our Big Five: lion, leopard, rhino, buffalo and elephant.

Today we drove to Phinda, a really classy lodge near Hluhluwe, to Rock Lodge built on the cliff. It's all varnished wood, high ceilings, thoughtful touches and views from everywhere including the loo and the shower. Outside there's a plunge pool that we would dearly have loved to er, plunge into on this 45 degree day, but there was no time. We were out on another game drive with Joel the spotter on the front of the vehicle and Matt driving. As well as all the usual suspects we saw a cheetah with two grown cubs, crocodiles and a couple of porcupines.

It's been lovely, but so busy, and tomorrow we're up at 5.30am again to go and find black rhino. Good night!

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